Understanding the Psychology of Dreams: Do They Have Meaning or Not?

Psychology of Dreams

Psychology of Dreams is something you don’t normally hear every day, but still, need to know regardless. It is because dreams have always been one of the biggest mysteries in life, where random images and activities occur during your sleep. Some people believe a dream is a form of premonition, while others think it’s just a random thing. To settle down with the real answer, carry on and find it out here.

First, you must know what a dream is to understand the psychology of dreams

So, what is a dream to begin with? Scientists conclude that a dream is just a story that occurs in your head as you sleep. A dream can be an abstract or constructive narrative with three to six different stories happening in one go. But regardless of the content, 95% among those dreams tend to be forgotten immediately in the morning, and only 5% are remembered.

As for how a dream occurs, the psychology of dreams finds the correlation between your Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycle and your dream. During the time you sleep, your eyes will roll to random directions quickly—this is REM cycle. It occurs roughly around 90 minutes after you sleep, and a certain part of your brain becomes active while the other rests.

It does feel weird when you think about it, but there’s a scientific reason behind it. As you fall asleep, certain parts of your brain that control rational thought such as prefrontal cortex is being put to rest. At the same time, the ones that control emotional thought become active, and they begin to form a dream. That is the starting point in which those parts begin to visualize your thought and experience during that day.

And when you’re done dreaming, you’ll wonder about the meaning of the dream

Because the psychology of dreams cannot discover the means to control one person’s dream, everything that happens in your dream is random. Consequently, nobody knows much about the meaning of the dream or whether it has a meaning or not. However, there are several theories with different approaches that may explain the reason why you dreamt that dream last night.

  1. Psychodynamic approach

Sigmund Freud believes in the psychology of dreams that appeals to the nature of uncontrollable force. To him, the meaning of the dream is exposed unconsciously through the innermost desire that a human wish to have. Whatever happens in a dream is the representation of what the dreamer wants, and they have to decipher each part and to grasp the meaning.

  1. Humanistic approach

This approach is similar to the psychodynamic one. What makes it different is that it puts humanity side first in that dream, in which the dreamer is focused on themselves. In their dream, they will have to deal with whatever is thrown during the story to find their purposes and self-improvement.

  1. Behavioral approach

This approach to the psychology of dreams believes that a dream is seeing things without actually seeing things. Through the REM cycle, the dreamer unconsciously “sees” things outside of their dream that is the outside environment. By manipulating the dreamer’s sleeping environment, they can control their own dream to a certain degree.

  1. Cognitive approach

The cognitive approach emphasizes the brain’s conscious activity and memory. During the REM cycle, the brain parts that process emotional thought develop several stories based on the dreamer’s everyday life. As a result, the meaning of the dream becomes nothing but a repeated memory from the past. It makes sense because according to the psychology of dreams, everyday life has been the main source of the dreamer’s dream.

  1. Neuroscience approach

This new approach expands the psychology of dreams that Sigmund Freud held when brain development was limited. In this approach, the REM cycle fires electrical impulse to random directions and causes the brain to dream a certain part of a memory. The one developing this approach, J. Allan Hobson, believes that the meaning of the dream is absolutely nothing. Furthermore, the dreamer can only dream as long as their body and brain are alive when they sleep.

So, what are the benefits of understanding your own dream?

While some approaches believe that a dream has a meaning and others don’t, there are benefits of knowing your dream. You can learn a lot of things from your dream, both for your physical health and mental health. For starts, the REM cycle that visualizes your dream can relieve your memories, which can benefit your emotional need. Maybe you need introspection, guidance, or just reducing your depression.

It is because dreaming involves so many processes. As you dream, your brain visualizes an issue, then you make some ideas out of it and sort them out. Then, you’ll look at yourself from a different perspective to make better judgment and self-improvement. The whole process also triggers your creativity, which is very beneficial for artists such as musicians, film producers, or painters.

However, it is entirely up to you. The psychology of dreams doesn’t dictate you to think about a dream in a single approach and not the others. It also doesn’t force you to think that the meaning of the dream exists or not. What it wants from you is to make yourself a better person by understanding what occurs to you in your sleep.

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